Why do you ride a bicycle?
Answers to this simple question vary widely, but for most people it comes down to two simple reasons: it’s fun and easy.
But if riding a bicycle is so fun and easy, why don’t more people do it? The answers to that question are not so simple and lots of time and research has been spent trying to understand the specific barriers to bike riding and how to encourage more people to give bike riding a try.
Enter Love to Ride Tucson: an online platform and Smart Phone app that takes time to understand the unique barriers each person might have to riding a bike. Love to Ride uses the experience and enthusiasm of regular bicycle riders to provide a fun, social space online for people to learn from one another and to encourage each other to achieve the simple goal of riding a bicycle more often.
Here is an overview of how Love to Ride, an international platform with more than 168,000 users that has logged more than 2.2 million trips and engaged 8,981 different companies in 9 countries, will get people to ride more in Tucson. When people set up a profile on Love to Ride Tucson, they take a quick survey to find out information such as how often they ride (or would like to ride) and what they perceive as barriers preventing them from riding more.
Once the survey is completed, Love to Ride Tucson sends targeted, specific information to people that supports them on their journey to cycle more. For example, a person who notes that safety is a barrier preventing them from biking more will be sent information on Tucson’s low-stress bicycle network and how to plan routes to destinations that make use of our low-stress network.
Finally, the Love to Ride Tucson website and app reinforces behavior by providing technological support for people to record their rides, watch their statistics stack up, receive positive reinforcing message (with a little bit of humor), set goals, and earn incentives and rewards.
Living Streets Alliance is bringing Love to Ride Tucson here this October, with a goal of engaging 1,500 people, one-third of them new riders. Some 60 organizations will take part in the program through sponsorships and by encouraging employees to participate in the Tucson Bike Challenge presented by Bookmans Sports Exchange, October 30-November 5, 2016. The Bike Challenge kicks off with Cyclovia Tucson and there will be a number of rides, events, giveaways and even an Awards Party at Bookmans Sports Exchange to wrap up the week. But once the bike challenge ends, the Love to Ride Tucson website will still be live year-round allowing users to post rides and compete for prizes with random monthly drawings. Lights, helmets, locks, gear, bike tune-ups, movie tickets, restaurant gift certificates and even bicycles are just some of the prizes that will be given away every month. Another, longer bike challenge will take place in April, 2017 as part of Bike Fest in Tucson.
For a sneak preview of how the website and app work, you can visit partners.lovetoride.net and even sign up for a profile. You can also become a sponsor of the program and register your workplace to compete in the bike challenges, just email us to find out more.